04 June, 2007

Beat Elegy

in memoriam Shakti Bhatt

by Monica Mody

Many times I tried to become a bard for her but found my tongue
                                lost to the screams in the mouth
                                of my last night’s dream —
the dream where I run to catch the sorrows singing on his homely wall
                                & find them black with my own blood,
the dream where things happen without a reason, or logic, or forewarning,
                                & towers fall with no more provocation
                                than a breath of flat air,
the dream where I try again to run after & catch the japing sorrows
                                but they fly straight into the premises
of a noble spirit, guarded by snakes of dust & sweat & fearsome tears,
                                so I can only look at her cradled between the
                                branches of parijat, wearing a band of 7-colour peacock
feathers & a rope of charcoal, & my entreaties to her to remember him
                                go unheard, my summons to our commonalities
                                of age, once love, to no avail,
my conjuring of that tangy summer evening disregarded where
                                perfectly formed couplets were spoken &
                                soared before our collective delighted eyes,
& I give up & think she has returned to her own species,
                                or else the trace of blue
under her eyes will become one day a blue bird resting
                                its head at the tips of the branches,
but the thought hurts so much I wake up in a shrieking silence.

No comments: